BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Mason Vires opened the new year in Malta after arriving in the country on December 30.
Vires, a Clarkston resident, is in Malta to play professional basketball.
“I felt like it was a good opportunity,” he said, after he signed his contract to play overseas, Dec. 12. “It’s a beautiful country. I get to be on the island. They have a sunny day about 300 days on average. The weather is 70 degrees per day on average.”
Vires added it accomplishes one of his goals he has had since middle school.
“It’s been a long time coming and finally an opportunity came and I was able to take it,” he said.
Vires added he is excited for what he can bring to his team which includes his passion and his hunger to compete.
“I pride myself on my hard work,” he said. “I believe I can go there with my work ethic, hopefully rub off on other guys, and lead them to win a lot more games.”
Vires graduated over the summer from Culver-Stockton College where he played basketball while earning a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Business Administration.
During his senior year with Culver-Stockton College, he was a Top 15 scorer in the nation at 19.8 points per game and in the Top 15 in steals with 57 in the season.
Vires was also selected Heart of America Athletic Conference Player of the Week, when he had 36 points, ten rebounds, five assists and five steals in a win against Evangel.
He was named All-Conference Second Team and was recipient of the 2020 All-America Athlete Award by the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Vires began playing basketball in third grade and added he really started taking it seriously in seventh grade.
“Every day was how can I get better, what can I do,” he shared. “Then, it led to the past couples of months.”
Over the last few months he put his business degree to use and combined with lessons in basketball and his drive created a brand called Embrace the Grind, one of his favorite mantras.
“It’s just spreading my message, my story on how it’s possible for any dream you want to achieve or go after it’s possible,” Vires shared. “It just takes the right dedication, discipline and hard work. Embrace the Grind is just showing to people regardless of how big their dream is and regardless if people don’t think you will ever achieve it – you can. It’s not going to come overnight. It’s not going to come in a month. It might not come in years. But if you are willing to dedicate your life and be disciplined you can achieve things.
“I always understood school was going to come first. I just believed God had put an opportunity in front of me where I would be blessed enough to do what I love and continue my career overseas playing professionally. I believe me staying active with basketball, starting my own brand and really spread my message through that was a no brainer. It’s really taught me a lot as far as getting that business degree I was able to do a lot with my business so far with only 3-4 months.”
He added he wanted to inspire kids that they can do anything.
“Regardless of what people say, you can do it. You have to believe. You have to have faith,” he said. “We have a YouTube channel, so really just putting my message out on social media and connecting with kids being inspirational in a positive way that they can be successful.”
He added basketball has shown him so many life lessons including working hard, being desciplined, and being dedicated.
“I pride myself on working hard every day. Waking up at 6 a.m. to work out, doing two a days where I am lifting. Then, going to the gym,” Vires said, adding doing 2-3 workouts a day for over ten years he has mastered doing workouts at a professional level.
Vires grew up in Pontiac and moved to Clarkston during his freshman year.
“I have been living here ever since,” he said, adding he graduated from Oxford Virtual Academy in 2015.
Please visit etgmedia.shop for more information about Vires and Embrace the Grind. The website also includes links to all of Vires’ social media accounts.